Monday, October 26, 2009

Wood use - Bark

Although oak bark was used extensively for tanning in Britain, other plant materials were substituted: fir, white willow (Salix alba), sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), oak galls, birch, alder, hemlock, heather, and the rhizomes of some ferns.

Oak bark contains both types of tannin: catechols and pyrogallols.

Catechols: more astringent, act more quickly than pyrogallols, producing leathers of pink, red or dark brown hues: birch, hemlock, alder, and fir bark.

Pyrogallols improve leather's wearing properties and resistance to water, so they are favored for sole leather, bookbinding, and upholstery. They produce pale leather varying from creamy or yellowish to light brown: sweet chestnut, oak galls, and oak-wood.
Alder (Alnus glutinosa) has astringent bark and is used for tanning and dyeing.

Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
Downy Birch (Betula pubescens)

Ground birch bark, fermented in sea water, is used for seasoning the woolen, hemp or linen sails and hemp rope of traditional Norwegian boats. The bark will burn very well even when wet because of the oils it contains.

The bark of Bird Cherry (Prunus padus), placed at the door, was supposed to ward off plague.

. Alders . Alder buckthorn . Ash . Beech . Birches . Box . Cherries, Plums, Blackthorn . Dogwood . Elder . Elms . Hazels . Hollies . Hornbeams . Junipers . Limes . Maples . Oaks . Pines . Poplars . Purging buckthorn . Rowans and Whitebeams . Service tree . Native shrubs . Willows . Yews .

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